Have you ever broken a promise that you made?
Like we said yesterday God is a promise making and a promise keeping God. In the Old Testament God made promises to his people and he never once broke a promise. God’s promises to his people are called covenants. Most of God’s covenants were what we might call “One Way” covenants. This means that only God had to keep promises (and he always did). But the Old Covenant made with God’s people at Mount Sinai was a “Two Way” covenant. This means that God would have to keep promises but so would the people.
But the people never kept their promises to God. They promised to love God, but then they worshiped false gods called idols. They promised to be kind to each other, but then they were mean. They promised to serve God and obey him, but then they became selfish and disobedient.
The broken promises of the people are what we call sin. Sin is when we don’t live up to what we say we will do. The people were supposed to love God with all their heart, but they couldn’t. The old covenant failed.
But it was supposed to fail. It was supposed to show us that we will never be like God. We will never be able to love and obey God on the outside unless first we are changed on the inside. And that is why God promised to make a new covenant with his people. The prophet Jeremiah describes the New Covenant that God will make with us. Listen to these amazing New Covenant promises:
Jeremiah 31:33-34. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The New Covenant makes two promises to us that are very, very important. Two promises that we must never forget. Two promises that are only possible if we receive Jesus.
The first promise – “I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.”
The second promise – “I will write my law on their hearts.”
God promises to forgive us of all our sins and then to change our hearts so that we will love and obey his law – the law to love God and love others.
Do you believe that these promises are true in your life? Do you believe that because of Jesus and his cross all your sins are forgive by God? Do you believe that because of Jesus and his eternal life you have a new heart that loves God and loves other people? Yes, you will still sin until you get to heaven, but is there a desire in you to “know God?”
Trusting these promises are what makes a Christian a Christian. Are you a Christian? Will you trust the promises of God today? Will you trust that he loves you no matter what? Will you trust that he has taken away your sins? Will you trust that you can love God with all your heart? I hope you will.
Because of Jesus all my sins are forgiven and I can have a new heart.
With Jesus I can love God and others with my new heart that is full of his love for me.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch these two scenes from The Grinch with your kids. Talk about how Grinch’s heart was changed because he was loved by others first. This is how God changes us – not by making us love first, but by first loving us.
Because of your cross I am forgiven and because of your resurrection I can have a new heart. Thank you for all you’ve done for me.
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